Durham County requiring residents to wear face masks in public

Local News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Starting Monday, Durham County residents will be required to wear face masks when venturing into public spaces, according to county officials.

Officials made an amendment to the unified Durham Stay-At-Home Order on Friday.

According to Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham Board of County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs, the intended purpose of this update is intended to focus on three specific areas: Wearing face coverings, rules for Farmers Markets, and new guidelines for real estate agents.

The combined order is for all residents in response to the community spread of COVID-19.

“Overall, officials agree that most people in our community are doing well at social distancing and staying home according to both local and national guidelines designed to reduce the spread of the deadly disease,” the release said.

The amendment specifically requires people to wear a clean face mask any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, and public transit.

While wearing the face mask, residents are urged to still maintain social distance insofar as possible since social distancing is the best defense against the spread of coronavirus, officials said.

While face coverings are required, officials say no one will be removed from or denied entry to public transit for failure to wear a face covering.

“It’s very important that everyone wears a mask, or some sort of facial covering, when out in public, but especially in places where social distancing is difficult,” said Durham Mayor Steve Schewel. “While it doesn’t take the place of social distancing, wearing facial covering certainly plays a big part in reducing the spread of the virus.”

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